HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is urging shippers to use electronic means to convey their verified gross mass (VGM) number to comply with the UN's rule that container weights be must be provided for all boxes from July 1.
"OOCL highly encourages shippers to provide the VGM information through efficient and convenient 'e-submission channels'. Should there be a need, OOCL can also cater for 'manual or paper document-based submissions' to meet certain customer requirements," said a statement from the company.
"We, however, DO NOT accept VGM submissions that are communicated to us by phone, voice mail or other verbal means," said OOCL emphatically.
OOCL said its website ?"My OOCL Center" has such facilities and accepts VGM online as batch submissions. It also works through on line market places such as CargoSmart and GT Nexus.
"Information must include booking number, container number, VGM with unit, signature of the shipper or authorised person," said the company.
A number of regulatory authorities have already published their guidelines and regulations to help the industry comply with the new VGM rules while some countries such as China have announced that they are in the final stages of policy development.
"The shipper is responsible for the potential regulatory penalties and all costs associated to the exception handling of the containers without the VGM," said OOCL.
There are two methods of securing a VGM;
Method 1: Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment.
Method 2; Calculating the sum of the single masses = Mass of cargo items + all packages (pallets, dunnage, securing material packed in the container) + container tare weight as certified and approved by the national authorised body.
But calculating is not allowed for scrap metal, unbagged grain and other cargo in bulk.
"If a container with a gross mass exceeding its maximum permitted limit (the maximum payload) as indicated on the Safety Approval Plate under the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), the container will not be loaded onto a ship even with the proper VGM documentation," said OOCL.
The shipper must ensure that the VGM is provided sufficiently in advance for use by the ship master and the terminal representative towards the ship stowage plan.
The VGM cut-off time will be advised in the form of a Booking Confirmation once available. We anticipate the VGM cut-off times will vary from one country to another.
Source : HKSG.